The constant truth you must know as you read this blog post is that God does not care whether you read the Bible on your phone or on the physical printed Bible – because the important thing is that you read His word and you connect with Him.
Still, like me, you might find it necessary to put the phone away and reach out for a physical Bible.
I am an apps junkie. I depend on YouVersion to do my Bible studies and I even personally enjoy the Bible app for kids. To be in step with time and trends,I was hoping to just jump right ahead and introduce my daughters to the digital Bible. But yesterday I paused and thought again. Now I am eager to have them fall in love with the print version.
The debate between the e-version and the print version has always intrigued me. The most outrageous argument against using the Bible app in church that I have come across is this:
“In case you need to cast demons out of a possessed person, will you be raising the phone in prayer while declaring and decreeing your God-given authority over the enemy?”
Ha ha, that scenario would be quite something. However, on a serious note I believe the power is in the Word, not the means in which it comes.
And here is the most sensible argument against using the app, according to me.
“Our phones carry a lot of things, a notification of a text, e-mail or something on Facebook or Twitter can easily divert your attention…and if you get bored during a sermon, the temptation to attempt another level of Candy Crush is real”
But even this sensible argument can be conquered by any apps junkie who is truly passionate about God, and about their Bible app. I personally argue that since my phone is always on silent mode, and I can always switch off cellular data and Wi-Fi connections in church, the possibilities of distraction are down to almost zero.
Still, I have to give up this modern convenience that I love so much.
Before I finally say why, I must acknowledge that the app is good in itself and I must applaud technology for smartphones and for the amazing apps they come with. Carrying a printed Bible has not always been easy, especially for men since very few walk with bags. However, with the app, the Bible is as much a part of my everyday life as all the other features of my phone. I can always make a quick reference when the need arises. Again, with the app, everybody is excited about the Bible, even people who would formerly not give much thought about buying a Bible are interested in downloading the app. And when they are not, we just have to playfully spam them with recommendations of this and that Bible app and soon enough they will click on that link. Hallelujah 🙂
But I am giving up on my app…because I am a PARENT. And when you are a parent, you realize that the saying “Monkey see, Monkey do” actually applies more to children…CHILDREN SEE, CHILDREN DO.
I want my children to develop an interest in reading the Word of God. The best way to achieve that is to model it. Even if I sing “Read your Bible, pray every day…“ complete with actions and the Swahili translated version of it, if I do not model the reading of the bible and praying every day, I am wasting time.
I do try to explain to my 3 year old daughter that I am reading the Bible whenever she sees me scrolling away, but yeah right…I might as well be reading Shakespeare for all the text she can see. Moments after that she will find me scrolling down a juicy facebook post and laughing by myself…and the next minute I will be watching a clip on YouTube. Same gadget, so many uses! And when she finally gets hold of the gadget, she will want to play a game or watch baby songs or some other thing…never even bother to visit my beloved Bible app.
I could divert her attention to the Bible app for kids, it has amazing Bible stories. But children, they get distracted very fast, she knows she can click elsewhere and watch “The wheels of the bus go round and round …” surely my baby does not need such temptations from her mother.
So I am giving up on the children’s app too. It is lovely to have one, so that instead of racing cars she grows to reading and listening to the Bible Stories. However, I do not want her to only know a few Bible Stories here and there, I want her to know the Bible, to know the big picture of how the individual books fit into one whole story of love and grace. I want her to know that scripture explains scripture. It will be much better if the Bible Stories fit into her knowledge of God instead of be her knowledge of God.
But surely, she is just but a young child, you think I could wait till she is about six, seven or ten? Unfortunately, I cannot have such a convenience, neither can you dear parent. All the morals and values you want your child to have, the best time to instil them is as early as possible. You have an entire world competing against you to romance that young heart of your child.
Seize the opportunity. Put the app away. Let your child see mummy reading the word of God. Let him see daddy highlight a scripture and look it up in a study Bible. Their interest will be sparked, and you can never lose on anything if God takes over the interest of your child.